H.E. Redley Killion
Vice President of the
Federated States of Micronesia
Before the 61st United Nations General Assembly
New York, 22 September 2006
Check Against Delivery
Mr. Secretary General,
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am honored and grateful to address this 61st session of the General Assembly, and in so doing, I join the other Members in congratulating you, Madame, on your historic assumption of the Presidency of this esteemed body. Let me assure you of my country's full support. We are confident that under your leadership, you will steer this Organization safely through the challenges ahead. I would also like to pay tribute to your distinguished predecessor, His Excellency Mr. Jan Eliasson, for his dedication and stewardship of this Organization during the past year.
Just recently, Madame President, the Pacific island countries lost one of its leaders. The Federated States of Micronesia is deeply saddened by the passing of King Tupou IV of the Kingdom of Tonga. In expressing our profound condolences to the people and leaders of Tonga during their period of national mourning, we also wish them well in their transition to a new leadership.
We are keenly aware of the remaining awesome task of implementing the reform measures for this Organization. We are nonetheless encouraged by the significant achievements so far made since the adoption of the Outcome Document of the World Summit last year. The UN has made great strides, for instance, in constituting the Human Rights Council, in launching the Peace Building Commission, and in endorsing the implementing resolution on development.
The reform of the Security Council itself should remain a high priority agenda item. My country would like to reiterate its position as expressed in previous years: we support a restructured Security Council that reflects the realities of the present international society.
For the Council to be effective and meaningful, its working methods should be improved and its membership, both permanent and non-permanent, needs to be expanded. We must give new impetus to the reform process and seek new ways, with an open mind, to achieve the institutional reform of the United Nations.
The small island developing states in the Pacific such as my country, recognized as among the most vulnerable, stand to benefit from an efficient and relevant United Nations. It is for this reason that we place high hopes on the relevant reforms. We hope that these reforms would poise us to better achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other internationally recognized commitments which, if left to our own device, cannot be reached even with the best intentions and efforts.
Thus, we are pleased with and grateful for the decision to establish additional United Nations offices in our Pacific region, including in my country. Taken within the context of the overall reform of the Organization, the presence of these offices is mutually beneficial to the United Nations and our peoples in many ways including through the effective coordination in the delivery of much-needed assistance and services.
With a large Exclusive Economic Zone, my country attaches great importance to the sustainable development and conservation of our marine resources and ecosystem. Consistent with this priority, we have joined forces with some of our neighboring states in calling for an immediate moratorium and a total ban on deep bottom trawl fishing.
The Organization must not close its eyes to activities that result in commercial gain for only a few at the expense of the integrity of the ecosystem that supports the livelihood of our people, especially those living in areas that are widely recognized as vulnerable. We appeal to the international community to mobilize support to cease bottom trawl fishing and other activities that are ecologically destructive and unfriendly to the marine ecosystem.
It is well established by the IPCC and other highly respected scientific organizations that the Earth's climate is adversely changing due to our carbon economy and the emission of greenhouse gases. Within this decade alone, we have witnessed unprecedented destruction caused by extreme weather events. The increasing magnitude, intensity and frequency of typhoons, hurricanes and other natural disasters, including the unprecedented melting and disappearance of glaciers are directly linked to human activities. This obviously calls for a more robust post-Kyoto regime.
As an island nation comprised mostly of low-lying small islands with large coastal areas, the FSM is vulnerable to the adverse impact of climate change. Exposed to the effects of extreme weather events, our livelihood and traditions as island people, in fact our whole civilization, are under greater threat than ever before.
The sad irony is that those of us who have little to contribute to the causes of climate change and sea-level rise are the first in line to suffer the consequences. Faced with this sad reality, Micronesia will continue to speak out for concerted global action to mitigate the adverse impact of climate change, taking into consideration the principle of common but differentiated responsibility.
While adaptation measures require national actions, the polluters pay principle should apply. Therefore those who pollute should underwrite the costs of adaptation, particularly for small island developing states.
Sustainable development remains a top priority for small island developing states like Micronesia, but it cannot be achieved by ourselves alone. Our development still requires overseas development assistance (ODA) from bilateral and multilateral donor partners alike.
But ODA on its own is not sufficient. Ongoing propositions for active Foreign Direct Investment and effective development partnerships, among others, should be translated into concrete actions as they are critical components of sustainable development.
The small island developing states continue to pin high hopes on the Mauritius Strategy as a blueprint for our sustainable development. But what good is the Strategy if the support necessary to implement it is not forthcoming?
The international community must provide that support which would include facilitation and improvement of access to existing resources and, where appropriate, allocation of dedicated financial resources. For the Mauritius Strategy to be effective and meaningful, it must be mainstreamed into all the United Nations processes, including the UNFCCC process.
In addition to the Mauritius Strategy, we support the principles of the Information Society and the Community of Democracies as vital to our national progress. In particular we seek help in the formulation of our national ICT plan and in the access to broadband connectivity which we believe will help overcome the obstacles to our development, owing to the geographical configuration of our island country.
Dependency on fossil fuel is an obstacle to our sustainable development. To mitigate this obstacle and prevent the perpetration of this carbon economy, my government has prioritized renewable energy as the way forward.
I therefore, reiterate the call by many small island developing states, including my own, for accelerated efforts in the development, utilization and distribution of renewable energy technologies to small island developing states. We will continue to look to the international community including our development partners to help ensure that such technologies are transferred and put in place effectively.
Terrorism affects all countries big and small, rich and poor. Micronesia condemns, in the strongest sense, terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The taking of innocent life is unambiguously unjustifiable, regardless of one's grievances.
We therefore renew our call on the United Nations to do everything in its power to prevent terrorism and to mitigate its root causes. While we are doing our best to uphold our responsibilities and obligations under the United Nations Counter Terrorism resolutions, we need the assistance of the international community to better implement and carry on the fight against this scourge.
In this spirit, we would like to commend the efforts which have been made that resulted in the recent ceasefire in Lebanon. We hope that the ceasefire will lead to lasting peace for the Israeli and Lebanese people.
Building on this momentum, we also hope that the conflict between Israel and Palestine will be resolved. The people of Israel have the right to live within secured, recognized borders free from fear of terrorism. The Palestinian people have the right to have their own state and to co-exist peacefully with their neighbors.
Micronesia is concerned by the threats to regional stability and international peace and security posed by nuclear proliferation. We urge the international community to continue such effort in addressing this problem.
In closing I would like to pay tribute to our outgoing Secretary-General, His Excellency, Mr. Kofi Annan for his distinguished leadership and decades of dedicated services to this Organization. My country extends to him our gratitude and best wishes.